MLB Pitcher Gerrit Cole's Luxe Destination Wedding in Santa Barbara

Amy and Gerrit

Photographed by: Chard PhotoLocation: Santa Barbara, California, United States

For baseball fans, the Major League Baseball All-Star Game is a fun diversion and a chance to watch the best of the best compete. For Amy Crawford, the 2015 game was particularly special; her boyfriend – Gerrit Cole, pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates – and her brother – Brandon Crawford, shortstop for the San Francisco Giants – were both selected for the National League team and would get to play together for the first time. After the game, Amy and Gerrit drove to a luxury resort in order to enjoy the last two days of the break together. The next evening, they went on a leisurely walk around the property following dinner. Gerrit led Amy into a cabana filled with flowers and Champagne, and asked her to marry him. “It was our week to celebrate his huge accomplishment, yet he still managed to make it about me,” muses the bride. “That pretty much sums up Gerrit.”

The college sweethearts met when they were athletes for UCLA baseball and softball, respectively. “I remember thinking she was the prettiest girl I had ever met and I wanted to get to know her,” the groom recalls. They became friends while sharing the weight room at 6AM, but it was a pair of kind gestures that led to their relationship. “I was moving into my new apartment and Gerrit drove an hour and a half after a wedding just to help me move.  My mom was there with me and he showed up with a bouquet of flowers for her birthday,” reveals Amy. “That’s the day I decided to take him up on that first-date offer from the year prior.”

Just days before Amy graduated, Gerrit was the number one overall pick in the MLB draft. Suddenly they were in a long-distance relationship, as Gerrit was playing baseball on the East Coast while Amy started her career in Los Angeles. Periodic visits led to an epiphany: “Life was a lot better when she was around, and I knew she was the one I wanted to spend my life with,” affirms the groom.

With her family from the San Francisco Bay Area and his based in Orange County, the couple decided on a Santa Barbara resort as the perfect midpoint to host their nuptials. “We love the charming and understated beauty of Santa Barbara, and we always imagined our wedding being on the California coast,” notes Amy.

Flowers by Cina created a look full of greenery to match the garden theme envisioned by the bride. Urns overflowing with verdure and blossoms in shades of white, ivory, champagne, and blush marked the aisle leading towards the wooden archway adorned with unstructured vines and flowers. Following the processional of bridesmaids in navy dresses, the bride emerged, resplendent in a stunning, fitted gown featuring lace appliqués on the illusion back. The uncle of the groom presided over the ceremony. “We wanted our wedding to be personal and intimate,” Amy shares of the detail.

The reception space exuded romance, with white lace and sparkling rose gold linens paired with gilt accents and a floral design that complemented that of the alfresco vow exchange. A combination of high and low arrangements with interspersed candles created a dreamy look. Underneath a draped canopy and an oval floral chandelier was the head table, which sat 24 people. The six-tier cake was a classic design that alluded to the details of the bride’s gown. A monogrammed wreath was placed in the center, which matched the design on the custom dance floor.

“There's a moment you reach on your wedding day when you are so ready to finally see your guests and shower them with love,” the bride describes. “I couldn’t wait to make my rounds at every table and thank everyone for coming.” However, after greeting the first table, the lace strap of her bridal gown ripped off! Luckily, her planner was able to quickly sew the dress back together and the strap withstood hours of dancing to the sounds of an energetic live band, which kept the party going until the last song.  “Most of our guests were on the dance floor a majority of the night and they interacted with everyone all evening,” praises Gerrit.

Amy advises couples to take a moment to look around and observe the fun had by everyone at the wedding. “I remember watching friends and family members from all different paths of our lives enjoying one another, laughing, singing, and tearing up the dance floor,” she illustrates. “I'll never forget how special that was to take in.”